Botox is one of the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, providing people with a quick and relatively pain free method to reduce the visible signs of ageing. For anyone scared to go under the knife Botox provides the perfect alternative, but as with any such procedure it is best to do as much research as you can beforehand. Here you will find 10 things and a bonus point, to know about Botox treatment and related preparations, that will help you make an informed decision.
1. What is a Botox Treatment
Botox is a cosmetic treatment, a protein made from Botulinum toxin, which blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles, ‘freezing’ facial muscles for a while. This temporary freezing stops muscle contraction, which stops deep lines and wrinkles from forming thereby reducing the appearance of skin lines and wrinkles. While it is a toxin, Botox is safe when administered correctly in small doses by a qualified practitioner and it has benefits, for both cosmetic procedures and medical uses. Actuality, Botox is more preventive than restorative.
2. What are the concerns that can be corrected through Botox?
Botox is more a preventive treatment and works to reduce the further creation of wrinkles. It is a relatively simple way, especially when compared to plastic surgery, to reduce fine lines caused by facial expressions. Botox injections are mainly used to target areas such as wrinkles between the eyebrows, crow’s feet or the tiny lines around the eyes or mouth, also known as laugh lines and frown lines, the horizontal creases in the forehead.
3. Am I a suitable candidate for Botox?
As of October 1st, 2021, in England you must be over the age of 18 to receive Botox injections or fillers, even if you have the permission of a responsible adult. For everyone above the legal age, most will be able to undertake Botox treatment, with certain exception.
If for instance you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should avoid Botox. There are no known dangers as of yet, but it is advisable to avoid it, to be on the safer side. Other common instances include if you have any neuro muscular conditions and if you are taking certain medication such as antibiotics that are amino glycosides.
Botox is usually recommended on a case by case basis, as each individual will differ in requirements and reactions. It is contraindicated in persons allergic to elements of the botulinum toxin, persons with body dysmorphic disorder and those with keloidal scarring to name a few.
4. The importance of an initial consultation
When you have done your initial research and if you are keen to start Botox injections it is essential that you get an initial consultation with a certified consultant. There is no one treatment fits all for Botox and an initial consultation will allow you to address any concerns and queries you may have regarding the treatment. In turn, you will receive an informed recommended treatment based on questions such as why you are opting for the treatment, your age and full medical history and what you hope to achieve via the treatment.
It is good to note down all questions regarding the Botox treatment even if they seem trivial. You can find out the types of treatment available and which would best suit you depending on your facial movements and muscles. Be truthful when answering questions posed to you by the consultant as they affect the recommendations such as procedures and dosage safe for you and effectiveness.
On top of the health assessment you will have to show the professional your natural facial expressions so they can determine where exactly you need the injections administered.
5. What is Botox made out of?
Botox is mainly derived from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which is a toxin that can cause a life threatening type of food poisoning known as botulism. However, when administered in small doses by a qualified practitioner it can treat certain health problems and has cosmetic benefits.
6. How does the treatment work?
Your treatment will be specialised for you, to treat your specific requirements, based on the facts provided by you at your initial consultation. Botox which arrives in a powder form is mixed with saline and refrigerated prior to injecting. A qualified facility will ensure the perfect mix so that the Botox remains in its intended location.
The actual treatment consists of Botox being injected with a very fine needle just under the surface of your skin. This usually does not result in bruising the same way fillers would unless the needle hits a blood vessel. In that case mild bruising can happen around the injection site, which usually fades naturally in a few days. Some places do offer next day laser treatment to help break down the bruise, so it disappears within 24 hours, but this depends on where you are getting your treatment done.
It roughly takes about 24-72 hours for the toxin to take effect. Again, the time it takes for the full effects to be visible depend on each individual. The number of injections you will need is determined by multiple factors including the extent of the area being treated.
7. What is the recovery period?
There isn’t really a recovery period or down time after getting Botox injections. Other than for very strenuous exercise you can resume normal activities. Just as a precaution you may be asked to keep your head upright and not to massage the injected areas.
8. Botox Aftercare
There is not much you need do except avoid strenuous activities and taking anti-inflammatory medication. You may be asked to avoid such medication before the procedure as well. Slight bruising is normal though not common and will fade naturally. You may experience a small buzz, but this too reduces after a few hours.
9. How long do the results typically last?
The effects of Botox treatment generally last about 3-6 months, again depending on your lifestyle and the type of treatment. As your facial muscles slowly return to action the lines and wrinkles do reappear and will need further treatment, but the wrinkles do appear less sever with time.
10. Why is it important to choose experienced practitioner to carry out the treatment?
When opting for such cosmetic procedures it is always advisable to seek the expertise of an experienced practitioner. You can have peace of mind knowing that they know the exact mix of Botox to saline and that they will not cut corners. They also know the correct number of injections you will actually need and the correct way to inject it so that you hardly experience any bruising or after effects.
How much do Botox treatments cost?
Treatments in the UK can cost between 100 to 350 for each treatment. The actual cost will depend on the area or areas being treated and the clinic. Also keep in mind that you may need more than one injection depending on your facial muscles. Further, as Botox is not a permanent solution you may need a couple of sessions a year if you want to maintain the effects.